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“A good day activity”

Herkimer Diamond Mines
Ranked #2 of 9 things to do in Herkimer
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed August 21, 2012

You will NOT find a huge expensive Herkimer Diamond worth thousands!! Don't go there expecting to find the Hope diamond. If you go there with reasonable expectations you will have a good time.

You are going into a rock quarry, it will be dirty, hot, there will be rocks everywhere. Come dressed with this in mind.

This is physical labor, you will be moving, lifting and breaking rocks. You WILL get hot, dirty and sweaty.

We went there on our summer driving vacation. After reading about it on Trip Advisor we brought our own tools and safety glasses. We packed lunch and plenty of drinks and snacks.

The best luck we had was searching under the rocks for small to medium diamonds. My daughter and her friend got hot and tired so I took them across to the campground to sit in the river. This gave mom some peace and quiet.

It was a good time away from the high tech noise.

2  Thank wcstory
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"safety glasses"
in 15 reviews
"gift shop"
in 29 reviews
"quartz crystals"
in 11 reviews
"sledge hammer"
in 9 reviews
"finding diamonds"
in 6 reviews
"knee pads"
in 7 reviews
"real diamonds"
in 3 reviews
"wear sturdy shoes"
in 3 reviews
"bring water"
in 6 reviews
"great activity"
in 4 reviews
"whole family"
in 7 reviews
"a lot of fun"
in 8 reviews
"fun experience"
in 5 reviews
"we spent hours"
in 3 reviews
"chisel"
in 39 reviews
"koa"
in 28 reviews
"rocks"
in 105 reviews
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189 - 193 of 234 reviews

Reviewed August 20, 2012

We went to the Herkamer Diamond Mines last weekend with a group of 10-year old Cub Scouts. They loved it! We stayed at the KOA Kampground across the street.

I would not recommend Herkamer Diamond Mines for young children. It is hard work. You have to literally hit rocks with a hammer to break them to find anything, though a few of the boys did find diamonds just on the ground.

I would definitely wear goggles - the rock pieces do fly.
You can bring your own hammer or pay to use one.
You can purchase a chisel for $14. (We did and we didn't really need it.)
You can buy small pails in the store or bring your own buckets. We brought 5-gallon buckets.

The boys had a great time! I was bored before they were.
The museum/gift shop is small, but the samples are very nice. It's less overpriced that most tourist attractions/museums.

You can also buy a bag of sand with Herkamer diamonds or gems or fossils in it for $10. Then you sluice it. They provide the screens and running water.

There is a snack bar and a playground. The staff was very friendly.

2  Thank Carrie S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 31, 2012

My family and I drove 2 1/2 hours to the site and spent 4 hours breaking rocks and looking for the crystals on the ground. We managed to find a few dime and penny sized crystals but most were very small or cracked crystals. The area is so picked over that it was evident we were not going to find anything larger unless we brought in some more powerful rock breaking tools than sledge hammers. The gift shop was so overpriced and the staff and the owner were very rude (except for one young man who was very polite!). Don't waste your time or money here, travel 20 min to the antique stores in Little Falls and purchase some nice reasonably priced diamonds and call it a day!

6  Thank Sarah D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 30, 2012

What a great experience! The Herkimer Diamond Mine pulls out all the stops for its visitors. They'll show you how to use the sluice way if you are a little timid about hammering away at rocks; they'll walk you down to the open pit mines and tell you how to get started as a diamond miner. They'll talk to you about what you can find and how.

So what are Herkimer Diamonds? The stunning double-terminated quartz crystals are naturally faceted by nature and date back to about five hundred million years ago. They are found primarily in Herkimer County, New York and are really quite beautiful.

The day of our visit to the Herkimer Diamond Mines was hot and steamy with temperatures reaching the nineties. We started with the sluice way and screened some dirt that came from the mines. Most of us found some diamonds, whetting our appetites for what was to come. We next trudged over to Mine #1, a large open pit mine dug into the hillside. Even with the hot weather, there were dozens of folks sifting dirt, hammering rocks, and many were finding good diamonds. Hammering the rocks was hard work, and some of us actually found diamonds this way. But the most successful miners found diamonds in the dirt after carefully sifting. Some of these were smaller than the big ones in rocks, but seemed more perfectly formed to my eye.

Mining diamonds here is hot and dirty work, but the glittering handful of results is well worth it. Most of us trudged back down the dusty dirt road to the entrance and had our diamonds appraised. You can sell them or keep them. Those who keep, can purchase settings to make necklaces, bracelets, or rings from the diamonds. There is a museum upstairs and a small snack bar with ice cream and hot dogs next door. Plan to spend two to three hours here minimum. Wear sturdy shoes, safety glasses, and expect to get dirty. Enjoy!

12  Thank redeco
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 30, 2012

Don't bother wasting your money here!!! We went to Herkimer diamond mines on July 22,2012. It was a total waste of money. It is so picked over from years of people picking through the rocks. They have areas where they commercial mine for the gift shop that are roped off. We ran into a woman that was camping there that told us to buy a bag of dirt they sell that is guaranteed to have some in it. it's too bad we didn't run into her before we wasted $50.00 to pick at rocks in the hot sun!

7  Thank campingmom12143
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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